This draft’s template was created in 2010

In some ways, it is 2010 all over again for Pete Carroll and John Schneider.

They have a top-10 pick for the first time since that inaugural year – and they need similar positions: a new QB, a left tackle and some defenders to fit a new scheme.

One thing they don’t have that they had in 2010: a second first-round pick to help hasten their franchise rebuild. But that may be coming, too.

We’ll get to the DK Metcalf trade options in a minute. First, let’s revisit a little history to see how Carroll and Schneider might approach this draft as they build the roster again.

In 2010, the Seahawks needed a future replacement for lame duck QB Matt Hasselbeck, but it was a terrible draft for passers. Sam Bradford was No. 1 overall and was an obvious bust; Tim Tebow was a major first-round reach by Denver; Jimmy Clausen (second round) and Colt McCoy (third) were the other QBs drafted in the first two days.

The Seahawks saw that coming and decided to roll the dice with a pre-draft trade for Charlie “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst. (More on that below.)

The Hawks had the sixth pick in that draft and ended up getting their left tackle for the next six years, Russell Okung. And then they used the 14th pick (acquired from Denver in the previous draft) on Earl Thomas.

Now, here we are in 2022, and it’s déjà vu all over again: a relatively weak QB draft, a trade for an unaccomplished young QB (Drew Lock) and a top-10 pick.

Plenty of mock drafts have the Seahawks taking mercurial Liberty QB Malik Willis at 9, but the 2010 draft tells us they probably aren’t going to do it.

Like 2010, they need to take a foundational player. That means left tackle, center, corner or pass rusher.

Options at 9

If the Hawks stay at 9, the best options likely will be corner or pass rusher.

A lot of fans want Seattle to stick at 9 for Cincinnati corner Sauce Gardner, if he is there. It wouldn’t be a bad move, but corner is a fairly deep position in this draft and they could find a good one a bit later (e.g., UW’s Trent McDuffie).

The other option at 9 is to make a big pass rush splash, even though that is a deep position as well. Most of the mocks that don’t have Willis going to Seattle instead project Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson is another good option (Daniel Jeremiah ranks him ahead of Thibodeaux).

Before Uchenna Nwosu signed with Seattle, new DC Clint Hurtt said the Hawks needed “to find another guy to be devastating, the edge rusher that can be a game-changer. A game-wrecker is what we need.”

One thing to keep in mind: Under Hurtt, the Seahawks are now looking for different kinds of rushers. Gone are the 260- to 280-pound ends. In are the 240- to 255-pound LEO types who can play in space in addition to rushing the passer.

“It’s part of the 3-4 structure,” Hurtt said. “You’re gonna have two overhang edge defenders, outside linebackers. But obviously those guys have to be versatile in the stuff that they do.”

Johnson (6-5, 254) definitely has that versatility and may fit Seattle better than Thibodeaux (6-4, 254).

Building block(er)

If the Hawks are focused on finding an immediate building block for their offensive line, they likely can get one by trading down.

If Alabama’s Evan Neal and NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu are taken in the top eight, as expected, the Hawks might be able to get Mississippi State left tackle Charles Cross, Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning or Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in the teens or 20s.

Another option is to try to get Central Michigan left tackle Bernhard Raimann in the second round.

More for Metcalf

Of course, the Hawks could have their cake and eat it, too, if they trade Metcalf.

Several teams could be candidates, with Green Bay, the Jets and Kansas City topping the list.

The Packers, who have two 1s and two 2s thanks to trading Davante Adams to Vegas, could pass along the 22nd and 53rd picks for Metcalf.

The Jets reportedly offered the Chiefs the 35th, 38th and 69th picks for Tyreek Hill and the 103rd. That would be equivalent to the 10th overall pick, which the Jets coincidentally also own, courtesy of the Jamal Adams trade with Seattle in 2020. Jets GM Joe Douglas said he wants a veteran receiver and is willing to pay for one. That could include the 10th pick for Metcalf.

The Chiefs have the 29th and 30th picks, plus No. 50 and 62. They could package three of those for Metcalf (with Seattle maybe sending back a mid-rounder).

Detroit, with the 32nd and 34th overall picks, also could be a possible trade partner.

Any of those packages would have some appeal to the Hawks, who might even be able to create a little bidding war. We think that is the direction the Seahawks are going, especially after Carroll and Schneider both used the dreaded word “intend” when asked whether they are going to extend Metcalf.

Trading him would give them a lot of options – making them more comfortable staying at 9 and taking Gardner, Thibodeaux, Johnson or another immediate impact player.

The Hawks also have picks 40 and 41, so they could end up with these picks in the first two days:

  • (trade with Packers) 9, 22, 40, 41, 53
  • (Jets) 9, 10, 40, 41
  • or 9, 35, 38, 40, 41, 69
  • (Chiefs) 9, 29, 40, 41, 50, 62
  • (Lions) 9, 32, 34, 40, 41

Seattle should aim to get at least five players in the first two days. Trading Metcalf could make that happen.

QB in Round 2?

While the Seahawks seem very unlikely to draft a QB high, we think Schneider would like to take one later. If he’s going to, it needs to be in the second round – or maybe the late first round if the trades give them five picks in the first two days.

Desmond Ridder, a four-year starter at Cincinnati, is the QB who seems to fit the Seahawks best.

Rob Rang mocked him to Seattle, saying Ridder “is a legitimate dual-threat weapon whose durability and dependability for the Bearcats were complemented by uncommon leadership skills. Succeeding in the NFL at quarterback is about more than being a talented passer. Ridder has the intangibles to become a franchise signal-caller and is a team player who won’t clash with Carroll’s preference for a run-heavy offense.”

Greg Cosell said on KJR that Ridder is “potentially the most fascinating” rookie QB. Cosell pointed out his poise and success while also saying Ridder is too deliberate and misses too many easy throws due to his delivery. “Not a first-round player,” Cosell said. “He could well be there in the second round.”

At the very least, Ridder would be a nice developmental QB who could be the backup by 2023. There is no rule saying the Hawks can’t draft passers in both 2022 and 2023.

He is listed, coincidentally, at 40 on the consensus big board at NFL Mock Draft Database.

It took the Hawks two years to replace Hasselbeck. They added Whitehurst in 2010, Tarvaris Jackson in 2011 and Matt Flynn in 2012. None were the answer. It took a lucky third-round pick on Russell Wilson in 2012 to finally find the guy.

Carroll has his fingers crossed that this is more like 2012 than 2010, that they will find the future QB now rather than next year or the year after. At the owners’ meetings, he made it clear he is not sold on Lock, expected returnee Geno Smith and third-teamer Jacob Eason.

“We are totally in the mentality that the fourth guy may be important to us for the long haul,” Carroll said. “So, we are definitely still in the quarterback business.”

7 thoughts on “This draft’s template was created in 2010”

  1. One thing they won’t have should they move Metcalf is the availability of an Earl Thomas (regardless of position).

    Re Gardner, it depends on how PCJS view him. If they see Gardner as a game-changer, it may not matter whether good CBs will be available later. As difficult as Richard Sherman could be, SEA has never come close to replacing him, and adding Gardner or Stingley — if they are there at #9 — will be hard to turn down.

    You know me and drafting: Pass rushing is like left-handed pitching in baseball, meaning that there’s no such thing as having enough and it is always a position of need. At #9, they may be able to draft for need and talent. Even Schneider may not be able to resist that.

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  2. I think they should try to add a second-day pick or two in a trade down. I think they should stay at 9 only if they trade Metcalf. But yeah, pass rushers and corners at 9, if they stay …

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  3. The prospect of trading Metcalf reminds me of an ESPN story from the heyday of Manny Ramirez, about the best right-handed power hitters in major league baseball. A manager looked the list over and said: “These guys are all good. But none of them makes you reach for the Ex-Lax like Manny does.”

    I get the argument that Metcalf’s production can be duplicated by a couple lesser-but-good receivers. But at 24 he already gets DCs to reach for the Ex-Lax, and he’s just going to get better. You can’t win a Super Bowl without elite players.

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    1. Pay the Unicorns. They don’t make many.
      Don’t overpay mediocre talent.
      Metcalf is a unicorn and young. Get a QB in the next 2 years, watch the salary cap rise, and in 2 years Metcalf will barely be paid in the top 10 anymore, but will drive DC’s crazy

      and if they have a QB on a rookie contract, they will have the cap space anyways

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am fine either way. But if they pay him, they have to use him. Because you can win a Super Bowl without elite receivers. The Hawks did it. The Patriots and Eagles did it.

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    1. yes, I am fine either way also. But if you trade him, you need to draft elite players. What makes the Rams good is Donald, more than any other player. The ultimate unicorn. LOB had a bunch of unicorns.

      So if DK gets paid, use him more than Russ did, make him worth the money and look like a unicorn.

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